The debate over America’s counterterrorism policies is sounding a lot like the debate over the Bush administration’s aggressive “war on terror.”
Nine months into the Obama administration, the same human rights and civil liberties officials who were sharply critical of President Bush are leveling similar criticisms about the new administration.
Although the rhetoric from the White House is toned down, harsh interrogations have stopped, and secret CIA prisons are shuttered, critics complain that emerging Obama antiterror policies seem more Bush-like than Obama-like.
The administration has embraced Mr. Bush’s law of war philosophy justifying the potential indefinite detention of terror suspects deemed by President Obama to be too difficult to put on trial, but also too dangerous to release.
Administration officials are hinting that Obama may fail to fulfill his pledge to close the Guantánamo prison camp by January. A new version of the controversial military commission process is expected to emerge soon from Congress. And construction continues for a new, expanded terror prison camp at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan.